The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has outlined a comprehensive path towards achieving 100% clean electricity, a crucial target to mitigate climate change, reduce air pollution, create a resilient energy system, and foster job creation. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Policy, 100% clean energy by 2035 would avoid an estimated $200 billion per year in climate damages, reduce economy-wide energy related GHG emissions by 2.4 gigatons, and reduce health damage from power-sector pollution by at least $40 billion a year.
BoxPower, a pioneer in the field of microgrid solutions, aligns seamlessly with the DOE’s recent report “On The Path to 100% Clean Electricity”, offering practical and effective solutions to pressing energy challenges. Read below to see how BoxPower can be a major contributor to DOE actions to achieve 100% clean energy.
SolarContainer and MiniBox
Action #2: Rapidly Increase Deployment of Established Clean Generation and Storage Technologies
The Department of Energy states that “to reach 100% clean electricity, an immediate increase of clean power and storage deployment rates is needed, followed by continued rapid growth in the pace of deployment”. Solar and storage have seen significant cost reductions in recent decades, making it an increasingly affordable and scalable solution. BoxPower has standardized the deployment process for modular microgrids from site selection to operation and maintenance, allowing energy providers to implement microgrids at a portfolio level. Examples of key strides BoxPower has taken include the Energy Audit and Integration System (EASI) and the Microgrid Integration Survey (MGIS) to increase the speed of deployment even further by expediting the design and site selection process. These technologies and strategies have culminated in portfolio scale projects by utilities across California, where BoxPower is currently working on 70+ sites. BoxPower’s advanced system-level approach is central to this accelerating transition to clean, reliable energy.
Action #4: Plan and Deploy Enabling Infrastructure
To reach 100% clean electricity, the U.S. needs to plan and deploy new, reliable infrastructure. With over 70% of U.S. energy infrastructure over 25 years old, the grid is in major need of upgrade. However, the costs associated with upgrading and hardening powerlines, especially in rural and remote areas, average about $2-$5 million per mile. On the other hand, microgrids provide utilities with a cost-effective solution to upgrading rural distribution lines while improving overall energy resiliency and reliability. BoxPower’s Microgrid Integration Survey (MGIS) takes line data and overlays it over risk factors such as wildfire threat districts and flood zones. Combining this data with line upgrading and undergrounding costs, BoxPower can determine optimal microgrid locations within a service area. With this approach, more rural and remote citizens can directly benefit from cleaner, lower cost, and more reliable energy.
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Action #5: Proactively Invest in and Engage with Disadvantaged and Energy Communities
Equity is a crucial aspect of the clean energy transition, as the DOE states that “Energy development has historically been inequitable and continued policy action is required to ensure that new inequities are not created in the buildout of a 100% clean power grid”. BoxPower specializes in serving rural and remote areas, which data shows are disadvantaged and lack reliable energy. For example, BoxPower deployed multiple systems in the remote areas of Buckland and Pilot Point, Alaska. These projects aimed to replace the old and energy inefficient diesel generators that previously powered the communities. BoxPower has built relationships with rural associations, indigenous communities, and governmental agencies, ensuring that these communities are not left behind in the clean energy transition. The influx of federal funding related to the energization of rural and disadvantaged areas is a crucial resource that BoxPower leverages to bring clean, reliable, and affordable energy to these communities.
BoxPower systems in Buckland, AK
Action #7: Ensure System Security and Resiliency as New Technologies and Threats Emerge
Increasingly frequent and severe weather events pose a threat to energy security, especially in rural areas. The average annual number of weather-related power outages increased by roughly 78% during 2011-2021, compared to 2000-2010. Microgrids increase energy resiliency and reliability in disaster prone areas as they can replace the risky distribution lines altogether. BoxPower’s power systems store locally generated solar energy in batteries within a containerized system, providing communities with a safe supply of energy during harsh weather. For example, BoxPower’s Briceburg Remote Grid in collaboration with PG&E has run smoothly during the historic winter storms in 2021, record-breaking heat waves in 2022 and notably during the deluges caused by the atmospheric river storms in late 2022 and 2023. When PG&E shut off local power as the Oak Fire burned only miles from Briceburg in 2022, the microgrid proved its worth, continuing to deliver reliable power to the community. BoxPower’s systems meet the stringent reliability standards posed by California utilities, ensuring system security and resiliency in the face of new technologies and threats.
Action #10: Equitably Expand the U.S. Clean Energy Workforce
As traditional industries that have sustained rural economies decline, the transition to 100% clean electricity offers a new avenue for job creation. BoxPower’s workforce development programs have trained installers, subcontractors and O&M providers in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Alaska deployments. This not only creates local jobs but also builds capacity for the clean energy transition. To date, BoxPower has created 45 jobs in rural economies, and projects to generate over 400 more over the next five years.
BoxPower’s mission and model are in harmony with the DOE’s vision for a clean energy future. By providing innovative, community-centric, and equitable energy solutions, BoxPower is playing a crucial role in the clean energy transition. As we move towards a future of 100% clean electricity, companies like BoxPower will be at the forefront, turning this ambitious vision into a reality.